Deep down in Virginia’s River Realm lies one of nature’s most valuable resources: the oyster. They’re packed with nutrients, filter our waters of pollution, and have a flavor that sparks the imagination of foodies all around the world. If you’re a fan of these coastal treats, we welcome you to our special region of the world where many of the oysters you enjoy derive. Here are three places to taste the Virginia Oyster in honor of National Oyster Day…
Oysters Three Ways at Merroir
Rappahannock Oysters can be tasted in recipes at restaurants around the country. The oyster company also has a collection of its own signature restaurants from Washington, DC to LA. The recipes behind these popular eateries were perfected at the first restaurant opened by the family-owned business: Merroir.
Merroir’s “tasting room” is located right on the Rappahannock River, overlooking where the oysters are grown. Enjoy oysters three different ways as you watch deadrise boats come in and out of the dock. Start with a trio of raw oysters on the half shell, each variety with a unique flavor dependent on where in our rivers they’re grown. Explore a unique pairing with ham and herb butter that bring the Angels on Horseback recipe to life. Indulge in the oyster cream sauce that drenches a Stuffin Muffin for a filling and savory streat.
Dockside Dining at Urbanna Seafood and Raw Bar
If you’re a sunset junkie, take a ride to this hidden local secret. It’s known for having one of the most beautiful sunsets in Urbanna. Arrive to Urbanna Seafood and Market by car, by boat or the Urbanna Trolley, stop#17. Step onto the dock, where oysters and other fresh seafood pass each and every day. Enjoy fresh, roasted, or fried oysters alongside a variety of other seafood classics, wine and beer. While you’re there, take a peep into the shucking house to see what happens after the oysters hit the dock. After dinner, visit the market next door to bring fresh oysters home with you to try your own hand at playing chef.
Rockefeller Style at Eckhard’s
For a luxurious take on oysters, visit this German inspired restaurant’s elegant dining room with warm cozy fireplaces. Eckhard’s Restaurant is located just before you cross the Rappahannock River Bridge. This splurge worthy spot features an oyster recipe even oyster novice’s will love: Oyster’s Rockefeller. Baked herb butter, spinach, and cheese make this savory treat sing. Chef and owner Don Marvin suggests pairing it with one of their white wines like the Rambauer Chardonnay.
Pack a Picnic with J & W Seafood Market
Enjoy the oyster on your own terms. Plan a picnic and add J & W Seafood Market to your shopping list. The market specializes in take-out fresh, local seafood, including raw oysters. Add sauces to your basket depending on how you’d like to enjoy your oysters. The market also carries prepared seafood, salads, soups, and more for a well-rounded picnic. Don’t forget to select a specialty micro-brew or local wine for your DIY culinary event. Heading out on the river? J & W’s full services tackle shop can set you up for all your fishing needs!
~Virginia’s River Realm is an enchanting travel destination along the western shores of the Chesapeake Bay. We invite visitors to explore delicious delicacies, seductive views, and luxurious experiences served with a side of friendly, small town spirit. Drive, boat, or bike along 465 miles of shoreline as you discover eight colorful small towns and hundreds of one-of-a-kind attractions. Get to know the wonder and history behind our most cherished resource: the oyster. Bring your friends and family along on the adventure as you catch your breath, calm your mind and live your dreams~